Fleet News

Fleet News industry conference 2003: When service beats price and technology

FLEETS place a high level of service above price and technology when it comes to choosing their suppliers, the Industry Conference heard.

Betty Low, editor of Business Travel World, said customer service was king and was often the difference between contracts being signed or not.

Low said: 'Price might win an account but it is service which keeps an account. Price is not sufficient, you could lose a contract through poor service. Courtesy and smiling doesn't cost money but it does come down to the whole team giving 100%.'

Living in the current economic downturn, Low believes the motor industry is continuing to look at means of streamlining and driving down costs. However, she believes it is vital this is achieved without sacrificing service levels.

'The more you focus on cost, the more you could be paying a price. Costs may get you the contract, but is price the main factor?' she asked. P> Sectors such as daily rental and contract hire need to balance service levels with cost-cutting in order to remain competitive in the market, but Low believes to maintain a good portion of market share, companies need to keep service at the forefront.

'Everyone is fighting for market share, but if you maintain your market share then you don't lose out.'

Reassessing business needs can be a way to improve customer service levels. By reducing the time spent on administration, the motor industry can dedicate more time and effort to customer care, according to Low. She added: 'Booking systems could be assessed. The less processes there are, the more time fleets can spend elsewhere.'

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